Audio / Video

Les maîtres fous


Filmed in Accra, Ghana, in 1954, the film depicts the annual ceremony of the Hauku cult, a social and religious movement which was widespread in French colonial Africa from the 1920's to the 1950's. Participants in the ceremony mimic the elaborate military ceremonies of their colonial occupiers, but in more of a trance than true recreation.



Les maîtres fous


Rouch, Jean, director,

editor of a moving image work.

Braunberger, Pierre, 1905-1990, producer.


Films de la Pléiade (Firm)

Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France)

Institut français d'Afrique noire.

Icarus Films.

Variant Title

Mad masters

Jean Rouch. The Mad masters


Brooklyn, NY, Icarus Films, 2010?

Full Collection Name

Media Resources Center Selections


Six films by Jean Rouch

Subject (Topic)

Cults Ghana--Accra.

Spirit possession Ghana--Accra.

Songhai (African people) Rites and ceremonies.

Cults Africa, West.

Cults Niger.

Video recordings.

DVD-Video discs.

Possession par les esprits Ghāna--Accra.

Songhaï (Peuple d'Afrique) Rites et cérémonies.

Cultes Afrique occidentale.


DVD vidéo.

Geographic Coverage

Ghana Rites and ceremonies.




Documentaries and Factual Films

Documentary films France.

Ethnographic films France.

Short films France.

Foreign films.

Motion pictures France.

Short films.

Documentary films.

Ethnographic films.

Short films.

Nonfiction films.

Documentary films France.

Ethnographic films France.

Short films France.

Foreign films.

Motion pictures France.


Films ethnographiques.

Courts métrages.

Films autres que de fiction.


1 videodisc (28 min.)

Other Physical Details

sound, color


4 3/4 in.


Opening credits in French; English narration.


The Library


This disc is a recorded DVD and may fail to play on some DVD equipment.

"Film réalisé au cours d'une mission de Centre national de la recherche scientifique et de l'Institut français d'Afrique noire."

Originally released as a motion picture in 1955.

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MRC Selections



Linked Resources

View library catalog record.

View record in Digital Collections.